BLACKSBURG - Four games into the season and Virginia Tech had yet to hit a home run. That all changed with one swing of the bat in the home half of the first as Brendon Hayden smacked the Hokies' first long ball of the year - a grand slam - to help lead Tech to a 6-1 victory over Radford Tuesday night at English Field.
Hayden watched as Tom Stoffel and Alex Perez both drew one-out walks and were followed by a Mark Zagunis single. He would then launch a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall for his first collegiate grand slam. The four RBIs also set a new career-high for the junior.
That would be all the run support the Hokies' pitching staff would need as four of them combined to hold the Highlanders to just one run - scored in the eighth - and struck out nine. Sean Keselica (1-0) tossed the first four innings, allowed three hits and struck out four. Luis Collazo went two frames and had two strikeouts, Tanner McIntyre pitched 1.2 with one punchout and Sean Kennedy ended the game (1.1 IP) and struck out two.
Radford (2-6) plated its only run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Nygeal Andrews that plated Josh Gardiner, who tripled to lead off the inning.
The Hokies will take a couple days off before hosting an upcoming tournament at English Field, that includes Cincinnati and UMass Lowell. Tech's first game is on Friday at 4 p.m. against Cincinnati - a game that follows a Bearcat-River Hawk contest that begins at Noon.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: Tech is now 20-2 all-time versus Radford at home (all games have been at English Field) and 39-10 overall ... This is the second straight game a Hokie has notched four RBIs, as Mark Zagunis did it versus Texas Southern ... Saige Jenco stole three bases in the game, one shy of the school record (done twice) and the most since Tony Balisteri stole three at Boston College on March 27, 2011 ... Brendon Hayden's previous high for RBIs in a game was three (done four times).
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